Skip to main content

tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  November 27, 2019 4:00pm-5:01pm PST

4:00 pm
11/27/19 11/27/19 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! together, wed can't and wto did shut. seattle 20 years ago this week, tens of thousands of activists shut down the world trade organization. democracy now! was in the streets of seattle in 1999. with in are looking back at this
4:01 pm
historic protest against global capitalism. we will speak to two of the leading critics of the wto vandana shiva and lori wallach who appeared together on democracy now! 20 years ago in seattle. >> the wto constraints every country government about literally the level of food safety it can provide its public. >> the secrecy through which the wto was born and the fact that most parliaments had no idea what is the content of this treaty u until months after it d been ratified and signed. amy: plus, we look at the 20th anniversary of the birth of the indymedia move which grew out of the seattle wto protest. to find her own way to get our message out. we hope the information that has
4:02 pm
been presented you by the alalternative media is one that you will learn. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. on capitol hill, the house judiciary committee will begin impeachment hearings next week into whether president trump withheld military aid from ukraine to pressure ukraine to investigate his political rivals, joe biden, and his son hunter. "the new york times" reports president trump knew about the whistleblower complaint about his july 25 phone call with the ukrainian president and that congress had been informed when trump decided to unfreeze the withheld $391 million in military aid. an office of management and budget official testified to the house intelligence committee that two of his colleagues quit after expressing concerns and frustration about trump's decision to withhold the aid.
4:03 pm
and an anonymous senior trump administration official, who has blasted the administration, said t they wod rereve themselves before the 2020 election. the official is the author of a book "a warning" and a viral "new york times" op-ed. in colombia, anti-government protesters have called for another national strike today after talks between a protest committee and right-wing president ivan duque failed. massive protests have rocked colombia for six straight days. last week, hundreds of thousands of people poured into the streets for the largest national strike colombia has seen in decades. four people have been killed so far,r, including 18-year-old stududent dilan cruzuz, who wast in the head by a police projectile. in chile, president sebastian pin your has sent a bill that would allow military troops to be deployed to the streets of chile amid ongoing anti-austeririty demonstrations. this comes as human rights watch
4:04 pm
has condemned polilice and military brutality against anti-government protesters. at least 26 people have died in the protests so far. this is human rights watch americas director josa© miguel -- jose miguel vivanco. there are hundreds of worrying reports of excessive reports on the streets and abuse of detainees such as brutal beatings andexual abususe that cannot be left unpunisheded and should be quickly and vigorously investigated by the judicial authorities. amy: in bolivia, the inter-american commission on human rights says an independent commission should investigate possible humanan rights abuses against pro-morales protesters following the military ouster of longtime president evo morales. at least 33 people have been killed since the protests began and the military has carried out at least two massacres against morales' indigenous supporters. secretary ofof state mike pompeo
4:05 pm
has cacalled on egypt to respect freedom of the press, only days after egyptian security forces raided the cairo office of egypt's last independent news outlet mada masr and detained staff members, who have now been released. >> as part of our strategic partnership with egypt, we continue to raise the importance forortance universal freedoms and the need for a robust, civil society. we call on the egyptian government to respect freedom of the press and release journalists detained in a raid last week and. amy: to see our full interview with mada masr reporter and longtime democracy now! correspondent sharif abdel kouddous, go to democracy now.org. in iran, videos of the iranian security forces' violence against protesters are emerging online, as iran has partially restored internet access, which was almost entirely blocked for over a week. amnesty international says over 100 people were killed in the crackdown against
4:06 pm
demonstrations sparked by a sharp rise in gas prices earlier this month. u.s. sanctctions against iran he contributed to the economic crisis. iranian officials now say internet access in t the country could be curtailed indefinitely. british labor leader jeremy corbyn has again condemned anti-semitism after britain's chief rabbi accused corbyn and his labor party of anti-semitism ahead of national elections on december 12. >>, the very clear and testament to some is completely wrong ur society. we made it clear that anti-semitism is unacceptable in any form in our party or our society. and did indeed offered sympathies and apologies to those that had suffered. amy: other british rabbis have disagreed with britain's chief rabbi and have expressed support for jeremy corbyn. meanwhile, the muslim council of britain has accused the conservative party of allowing
4:07 pm
islamophobia to fester.. boris johnson has previously written that he believed islamophobia is natural. jeremy c corbyn also says he's obtained documents that reveal britain's national healtlth service could be up for sale in a post-brexit trade deal with ththe united statetes. in texas, at least three people have been hospitalized after a chemical plant exploded in port neches, outside houston. the cause ofof the explosion at the texas petroleum chemical plant has not t t been determined. meanwhile, an uncontrolled wildfire outside santa barbara in california has burned more than 4300 acres. thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate. and the new york city council has passed legislation that would make new york the first major american city to ban most flavored e-cigarettes. this is new york city councilmember mark levine. >> the slow pace at which this country has responded to the team vaping epidemic has been an
4:08 pm
epic failure. we did nothing as these sleek new devices with an intense dose of nicotine started to hit the s startedas shelves philip witith every fruity, min, candy flavor y you can think o . flflavors that are clearly appealing to kids. juu orlothing when other company started to market on social media with stylish uling people promoting ju as a cool lifestyle choice. amy: new york's move came after president trump reversed course and refused to sign a memo banning most flavored vaping products. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of ouour listenes and viewers from around the country and around the world. today we spend the hour looking back at the battle of seattle. together, weand
4:09 pm
can and did shut down the wto! juan: 20 years ago this week, tens of thousands of activists gathered in seattle, washington, to shut down a ministerial meeting of the world trade organization. grassroots organizers successfully blocked world leaders, government trade ministers, and corporate executives from meeting to sign a global trade deal that many called deeply undemocratic, harmful to workers rights, the environment, and indigenous people globally. on november 30, 1999, activists formed a human chain around the seattle convention center and shut down the city's downtown. amy: police responded by firing tear gas and rubber bullets into the mostly peaceful crowd. the protests went on for five days, resulted in over 600 arrests and in the eventual collapse of the talks, as well as the resignation of seattle's police chief. the protests were documented in the film "this is what democracy looks like."
4:10 pm
>> you have people here from all over. you have labor, environmentalists, teachers, children, coalitions between people of color in mainstream white americans. you have middle-class, working poor, poor -- you have everybody out here because this hurts people. this is bad for people. it is bad for our jobs here and the people over there. amy: in the documentary "this is what democracy looks like," organizers hop hopkins and rice baker-yeboah talked about the brutality protesters faced in the streets of seattle. >> there was so much fear coming out of tuesday. we have been shot at. we have been gassed. people have been beaten and shot. people did not expect that going into tuesday. pepeople had to recommit themselves and reaffirm their
4:11 pm
position. >> that night we ended up meeting upup on the corner of broadway and john and decided about what we could do the next day. the next day we would meet up at 6:30 at the park and try to take back the city. >> we started to weave our way through the route, the roadblocks they set up. i looked around and if you people were afraid. at that point i said, that is not fear in your gut or throat, that is your first taste of freedom. people were coming out of nowhere. from theke the scene michael jackson video "thriller." we went from just a few people to 100 people, 150 people. i don't know where all of these people came from. i think the cops were totally surprised by that.
4:12 pm
juan: democracy now! was in the streets of seattle 20 years ago. during one broadcast, we spoke to two of the leading critics of the wto -- the indian physicist and activist vandana shiva and lori wallach of public citizen. >> the wto constrains every country government about literally the level of food safety it can provide its public or whether or not farmers can have access to seed, whether or not workers can be safe from asbestos. >> actually, the secrecy through which wto was born is apparent in the fact that most parliaments had no idea what is the content of this treaty until months after it had been ratified and signed in mayor cache -- marakesha. abouto sits in judgment the implementation of the rules
4:13 pm
and rights the inquisition. amy: you're listetening to pacifica radios democracy now! broadcdcting live e from seaeat. amy: that was vandana shiva and lori wallach on democracy now! onh juan gonzalez and i november 29, 1999, during our live broadcast from the wto the basement of the first united church during the wto protests. they are joining us again today. lori wallach is with us from washington, d.c., and vandana shiva is joining us from rome, italy. welcome back to democracy now! in the streets of seattle 20 years ago. can you explain why, what was happening, and then take us through to today? close the wto announced it wawas having itsts minisisterial in te
4:14 pm
u.s. and we knew it was critical fofor people around the world to see their protest against wto and africa, latin america, asia, europe, anand in the u.s. also. we did not want this one-size-fits-all corporate rule . so ass soon as we heard it was seseattle,e, we starte organizi. we opened an office in seattle in march of 1999. and the goal was both to stop the planned wto expansion and also to signal to the whole world the u.s. was in this fight with everyone else. we need to diffeferent rulules r ththe globalal economy. -- we need a different rules for the global economy. juan: few people in the world at therd of the wto in the time. tell us how you came to be in
4:15 pm
seattle in november of 1999. >> i was in seattle as part of the international forum on globalization, the ifg, which brought together all of us who are questioning the precursor of cashto before the mara agreement was signed. gatt because of the corporations that mentioned it first in the meeting in 1997 in geneva and in a result outside geneva. and they were talking about patenting seeds and left, and international treaty which would make it a requirement for all countries to patent seeds, and would make it illegal for farmers to save seeds, and this free-trade agreement is what they were going to work on and they talk about five corporations controlling food and health by the year 2000. that conversation of 1987
4:16 pm
started me on the path of saving seed, working with my government to not allow patenting of seats, working with ambassadors to not allow trips to be designed like monsanto had designed it where they said we were the patient that must petition and position all-in-one. because i come from india, to colonize the country, east india company was created. the first free-trade agreement was not nafta or wto. the first free-trade government -- was the east india, the. so we were very familiar with the use of so-called free trade and having become free after famine killed 60 million people, we did not want to be re-colonized again. i am so happy that for that period, former prime minister, former ambassador, joined us as
4:17 pm
the people's campaign against wto and we passed laws in that window that defended the sovereignty of the seed, the sovereign entity farmers. but as the corporate rule continued, the monopoly on seeds continued. we have lost 400,000 farmers because of debt. a billion people are hungry. when you introduce the protest going on in chile in columbia and other parts of the world, i actually see the process of today in every part of the world as a continuation of the fight against neoliberalism, fight against austerity, a right against the permanence of structural adjustment -- which is what free-trade is about. it has given us the control of the poison cartel over our seed and food. it has given us the billionaires -- bill gates is a child of wto.
4:18 pm
he got rules written so he would not have to pay taxes in transporter transfer. jeff bezos shipping goods around and pay no taxes anywhere. these tririllionaires are childn of the wto rules. we said we are writing other rules. movements have written other rules. another world is possible. we are making up at the brutality and limitless greed of the handful of corporations and billionaires is now really reaching genocidal limits. so 20 years after s seattle, we need to make a commitment that in the next 10 years, we have really got to change those rules and get rid of the ruler billionaires. amy: i want to go to michael moore, the o oscar-winning filmmaker -- did not win an oscar at the time -- speaking to a reporter in the middle of a crowd during the wto demonstrations. >> this really was not organized
4:19 pm
or anyleaders group. it was organized by monsanto. it was organized by exxon, general motors, and all the greedy bastards who have spent the last decades trying to make as much money -- [cheers] on't g go blaming any violence anyone here. the violence is taking place in the companies that have enacted their violence against these people. amy: that is michael moore back in the end of november 1999. juan, you and i were covering this for democracy now! in the streets. , that point in this week and holding a big forum, the people's form called media and resistance, 20 years after seattle at university of pennsylvania, rutgers, and democracy now! help to sponsor. you talked about -- here you are working for this major new york
4:20 pm
newspaper, "the new york daily news," but it was democracy now! that brought you out there. juan: because thehe paper did nt want to pay my expenses to go out there and they did not even really know what the wto was about. i sure them it was going to be big and even bill clinton was going, so it was worthwhile -- amy: he had to come in the middle of the night because of the mass protest. madeleine albright to the secretary of state, could not get out of her hotel room because of the tear gas coming under her door. but if you could read your column since "the daily news" did not stop calalling you o one you got therere. juan: once the city was paralyzed, they wanted to hear as much as i could write. this was the beginning of the column i wrote on december 1, baptism by tear gas for americans to dance. i wrote "a new generation of rebels came of age in america yesterday. thousands of young people paralyzed this city's downtown, delayed the opening ceremony of the world trade organization
4:21 pm
meeting, and a stunning protest that harken back to the great civil rights marches of the 1960's." december 3 i wrote -- going "it did not matter to these diehard kids the city had been turned into an armed camp and was firmly under the control of an army of cops, state troopers, national guard. they had been studying -- stunningly successful in giving a black i into an obscure organization and had alerted millions of americans to the enormous power the wto wields in the world and turn it into a household name. as i said, most people did not even know about the wto before these protests occurred. you cameana shiva, from india to be part of the protest, but you did not really know the level of protest.t. you had already been laying a foundation with the i have g, the international forum on globalization, giving speeches about this. and for people to understand the wto, the idea that a
4:22 pm
transnational organization could be used to overturn the laws of democratically legislature -- democratically elected legislatures, say some city council did not want to have gmo's, wanted to have them labeled, they could be called wto illegal. you have been continuing to speak out about this sense, but what difference did that seminal -- were you surprised the wto got shot down? i was not surprised because actually, it wasn't just the protest outside. it was the third world governments inside who were celebrating the ending of the bullying part of the rich countries who are working on behalf of the monsanto's agreement.
4:23 pm
president to negotiate the agriculture treaty on behalf of the u.s. government, that is what agriculture treaty was, the cargill agreement. wasso-called agreement basically junk food agreement forcing bad food on everyone around the world and criminalizing local, regional, national governments -- which worked according to the constitutions -- to protect their sovereign entities and rights. -- establish seed anomalies in 1987. in india, we neatly started to mobilize. the first very big rally w was a 500,000 farmers rally to say agriculture should not be part of free-trade. those protest are still carrying on. if g,le, we plan with
4:24 pm
the teach-in. we had been doing them in the lead up to seattle. we thought about 30,000 people would turn out. thousands turned up and the young people on the streets would come up to me and talk to me about how they were there because of -- they were there to stop privatization of water. defends there to . everyone was speaking the chorus "our world is not for sale." our world is now on the verge of destruction and extinction and climate catastrophe because those who make money out of destroying the world want to continue. thate difference really is those who pushed and bullied us into the wto of the corporations now want to dismantle the wto as a multilateral body and they want to have bilateral bullying
4:25 pm
agreements. the end result is the same. i think it is important for the workers of the united states to recognize the unions were on the street. in europe right now, the corporations are pitting farmers banning-- as it pesticides, which are killing the butterflies and birds, are not the reason the farmers are in debt, not the reason that crops are failing, not the reason the soil is dying. it is time to stop the divide and rule that has been created again and again by the moneney machine and the moneymakers. and this divide and rule is right now taking very militaristic terms, very fascist terms, so our movement of 20 years ago is now a movement to defend democracy, to defend earth democracy. i wrote my book "earth democracy" because these journalists was i, the and to her snow what they are against.
4:26 pm
they don't know what they are for. we said, we are here to defend our earth, our world, our life, our democracy. so i wrote "earth democracy" and i think it is more urgent today. what we need to learn from 20 years ago is that when people come into the situation all of their diversity, the turtles and the teamsters can walk together to defend the rights of the earth. that is the moment we're in today. we have to unite for a fight for the planet and a fight for the last person, including the last displaced person who is today's refugee. i wantori wallach, to ask you the impact the protests had and how things have changed. i want to turn to the cover of foreign policy magazine in the spring of 2000, which featured you, lori wallach comeau with the headline "why is this woman
4:27 pm
smiling?: because she just beat up the wto in seattle, that's why." there were thousands of people out there. withinrd world delegates the assembly that were also opposed to the bowling of the west. i'm wondering if you could talk about the impact -- did you think that was going to happen in november 1999? and how has the world capitalist system adjusted to those kinds of protests since then? you wrote in my column was my personal experience, which is i was awakened by the teargas. i sound like i did today, like i didn't day five of the protest. i sasathe powerr of direct actin protests, of brave people putting themselves in the way of corporate power. and a whole geneneration -- even the people who worked to
4:28 pm
organize, who spent a year traveling around the u.s. educating people about the wto, doing seminars and union hall discussions, people were really come after the first day, empowered, awakened, unified in what certainly was the aspiration to shut down that meeting, to see that people power had effectively overcome the world's most powerful corporations. and their goal of expanding the wto's role even more broadly than they already were. and the amazing outcome of that, almost, was that we had an enzymatic effect on what was going on in the negotiating suites. a said, peopleandan
4:29 pm
had been hit by its effects right away who knew what it meant and their governments and their negotiators in geneva at the wto have been pushing back. they were fighting for no wto expansion, but instead to exhibit -- fix thehe existing rule. seeing all of these people in the streets really had an effect on the negotiators in the suite for the developing c country negotiators were largely locked out of the decision-making rooms . they were looking at the protest on tv and that combination of inside and outside may be for the that last oomph negotiators from the caribbean and africa and latin america who had been fighting this for years, who in seaeattle like the
4:30 pm
wto expansion -- block the wto expansion. after almost 15 years more of cancun, and hong kong, and geneva, as well as protests in many developingg countries capitals, as well as enormous bravery of developingg country negotiators in the geneva negotiating center, wto expansion was defeated. the people won. the agenda that was the most horrific extreme version of globalization did not come to fruition. and we see the reverberations of that empowerment, that experience of having an alternative of a better world and stopping that corporate power. that experience is reflected in people's movements that have had incredible victories around the
4:31 pm
world so that even as we are living with the catastrophe of the existing wto rules, people power stop that expansion that would have made endsds even wow. and now we basically havave to said, to vandana change the existing rules, and to some degree the wto is now in amazing crisis. it has never regainened its legitimacy since seattle. and on december 11 itits a abily to issue his outrageous rulings against country's gmo policies, environmental policies of the health policies, development policies, will be shut down. bebecause atat that point, the's dispute system will no longer have a quorum. there's enough protestant about this -- protest. attentione wto paying to the t threat of its survival? no.
4:32 pm
it is trying to expand its role. this time, to constrain government from regulating the internet giants that are undermining our privacy and monopolizing the world. so am i thinking the wto is going to reform? no. it is going to take a lot more whompping to butt get this moving. amy: i want to thank you both for being with us. lori wallach and renee feltz .vandana shiva vandana shiva, you are in rome, italy. you're always traveling the globe. what award are you winning today? >> it is called the minerva award. minerva is the goddess of knowledge. amy: i thank you so much for
4:33 pm
being with us cocome into these two women of knowledge that have joined us. this is democracy now! when we come back, we look at the movement, the independent media movement that grew ouout f the battle of seattle. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
4:34 pm
amy: "killing in the name of" by rage against the machine. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: we turn now to look at how the 20th anniversary of protests in seattle that shut dowown a meeting of the world trade organization also marks the time when the first independent media center came to life. amid the clouds of tear gas, hundreds of volunteer reporters documented what unfolded. that week indymedia.org received 1.5 million visitors -- more than cnn -- and produced a daily
4:35 pm
video report and newspaper. it was the first node in a global citizen journalist movement. amy: we will meet some of the indymedia activists in a minute. but first, this is an excerpt from "showdown in seattle," produced for deep dish tv by the seattle indymedia center and scores of media activists. in this clip, we get a tour of the very first independent media center. it begins with jeff perlstein, one of the founders of seattle indymedia. >> the main motivation for us starting the independent media center was folks on the ground here in seattltle recognizing te importance of this issue and also that all of these tremendous, brilliant, articulate people were coming from all over the world to speak truth to power, to confront globalization and the antidemocratic agenda. folks one of the critical aspects to the center is it has been a a clearinghghouse of information who are lots of individuals who not only live in seattle, but coming in fromm
4:36 pm
araround the country and around the globe to participate in the events this week. we are providing a base of operation for journalists and others who are going out into the streets and capturing the content, editing the content, and distributing over the internet come over satellite, faxes, literally around the world. >> we have to find our own ways to get the message out. the revolution will not be televised by the corporate media. we hope the information that has been presented to you by the alternative media is one that you will learn. >> what is reaeally important to note about thehe whole center tt is taking place is it is fairly unprecedented. we have teams covering video, teams covering print, newspaper actually being published every day out of this center. >> the blind spot is the paper the independent media center puts out every day during the wto. it is basically like 11 by 17
4:37 pm
fold over front and back. it is pretty much all we can afford to do. i'm sure we could fill a lot more. juan: that's an excerpt from battle in seattle about the first independent media center that opened 20 years ago this week. for more, we're joined by several guests. in seattle, jill friedberg is co-founder of the seattle independent media center and co-produced the seattle wto documentary "this is what democracy looks like." we are also joined in the studio with rick rowley an , oscar-nominated filmmaker and independent journalist with midnight films. amy: and he codirected that film with jill. and in houston, tish stringer and renee feltz are co-organizers of the 20th anniversary indymedia encuentro that takes place this weekend at the rice media center. tish is film program manager at rice university and author of a book on indymedia called "move! guerilla films, collaborative modes and the tactics of radical media makingng." renee was at the seattle wto protests and then joined with tish and others to found the houston independent media
4:38 pm
center. long time democracy now! producer and reporter, including for the indypendent, a newspaper that grew out of new york city indymedia. we welcome you all to democracy now! jill friedberg, this weekend you have a large gathering honoring this 20 anniversary of indymedia . indymedia center that was right there in the middle of seattle. the fact that indymedia.org was getting more hits than cnn.com are no was saying there rubber bullets being fired, and here was indymedia showing pictures of peoplple holding g e rubbbber bullets. jill? >> i think thehe thing that waws really amazing about that moment was the e physical space o othe ground of ththe independent meda center, which rereally came together in a couple of months
4:39 pm
bebere the wtoto came to town,n, that the capacity of the independent media center on the grground combibined with the e h of indymedia.org, which was come if notot the first, it was one f the first open p publishing platforms ever.. it was a new and unprecedented thing that independent journalist could share their content directly to a website withthout an editor in between them and the site. and the combination of those two factors really facilitated independent media, not just providing a strong alternative to the corporate media, but interrupting the narrative that the corporate media was trying to construct about what was happening in the streets of seattle that week. i think another really important piece of that is on the ground, and independent media center was nonot just a press enter. it was not just a space with computers and internet access. it was a space o of collaborati,
4:40 pm
a space of training -- a lot of people came through the door looking fofor a way to help out and by the end of the week new how to edit a radio segment or write and publish a print article. all of that came together because people around the world, but also on the ground in seattltl anticipatated ahead of time that the corporate media coverage would be slanted, narrow, and inadequate. and also inches of heated independent journalist from around the world -- a anticipatd journalist from around the world would need space, collaboration, and support. we anticipated a little bit of what happened, but we were also quite surprised that not just what happepened in the streets f seattle, but what happened inside the independent media center in terms of response and numbers of people who came through the door to participate. juan: jill, where he further surprised after the week of protests about the flowering of these independent media centers, really come around the world?
4:41 pm
can you talk about that as well? >> 100% surprised. if there were othehers there who had expected t that, i did not allll had it because we rereally n not anticipated that indedependent media centers woud start popping up all over the world. initially, there were popping up where big protest werere happening. eventually, they were tataking shapape in towns literally aroud the world where people felt like an independent media center could serve their communities needs. it wasas a really important experience to learn on the fly what did that mean to be connected through values anand practice, but not in the e same roroom together? it was sort of like a testing ground for social media. this was unprecedented that people would be more or less doing thee same kind of work all around the world but only connected for the most part through the internet.
4:42 pm
there were a lot of lessons learned, but it also created a really important network of independent journalists who when they were in the same room, could support each other, protect each other, share material share equipment. a lot of people who participated in those independent media centers had their work facilitated whenen they had to o to another country to do some reporting or make a film. they wouould land and it was the indymedia people who were there for them first providing whatever they needed. amy: what made this more stunning, this accomplishment, is that were doing this as they were choking on teargas. i want to turn to footage from the seattle independent media center that shows a 1999 wins gado police in riot gear attempted to enter the offices. after indymedia journalists kept police from coming in, officers surrounded the door and blocked access to the building, denying reporters entry.
4:43 pm
>> can you just give me some kind of idea of when we might be able to go back in there? people are working with deadlines, you know? clubs is there way to get back in? let us get a few people out of there and then we will get you in. close excuse me. dubious. >> what? >> dubious. aclu is suing for frenchman of speech -- infringement of speech. amy: we will go to another clip right outside the indymedia center. close independent media and journalists are gathered. >> are thehese people under
4:44 pm
arrest? saying. a crime close it is an independent press center. >> you cannot get by. amy: that was -- that last person was rick rowley demanding to know why they're going into the indymedia center. i was also standing outside, following the police who were ahead of me looking like robocop's. what they did not realize -- i did see it, did not think about it, they were all wearing gas masks. i was behind them coughing, broadcasting on the telephone. i could hardly get my breath. i did not have a gas mask. rick, you are pushing to ask why they were charging the independent media center. ultimately, dennis monahan of democracy now! was inside the
4:45 pm
center reporting to the press. as they were trying to get in, they actually took a hose to teargas the inside of the center. rick rowley, your the coproducer with jill of "what democracy looks like." it could have been "what democracy smells like." >> i have never seen that clip of me outside the independent media center. it was really -- i can't express what an amazing week it was for all of us. that was a moment when changed to us felt like it was impossible, the kind of global corporate orders seemed inevitable and invincible. nafta had just been signed by clinton. the democratic party, such as it was, was fully recuperated by financial capital. the union movement had been beat up on more than a decade. camera range, of resistance had been building. infirst, it appeared to us
4:46 pm
1994 when the zapatistas rose up in mexico, but when that movement exploded into the streets in seattle, it was a shock to all of us. juan: rick, you mentioned on friday night at the event here in new york that you almost did not go to seattle, that it was a last-minute decision on your part. >> yeah, yeah. when our small team arrived, we were not really expecting much. we ended up there because we met jeff perlstein and some of the organizers. we were on tour with the film we had made in southern mexico. in austin, we met jeff and some of the organizers of indymedia. the genius of what jeff did and jill who convened this kind of amazing collaborative video space is -- it was a same genius of the movement itself that it convened a space and invited people in as participants, not as followers. not
4:47 pm
we were all as collectives invited in to find a space and to work together. i've worked in all sorts of television environments since then and i've never been in a place that had so little ego and such a shared kind of sense of purpose.e. itit was really a transformatiol moment. amy: amazing what was happening outside also in that year the teamsters and turtles together. he had the afl-cio, they decide to march in the streets, led by john sweeney, then president of the afl-cio, thousands of people with environmentalists, high farmer,ids, the french farmers from around the world, doctors and nurses saying, you cannot overturn the laws of democratically elected legislatures to pass corporate -friendldly laws that could jeopardize our health. we're going to go right now to break. when we come back, we will expand this with our colleagues in houston, who are also holding
4:48 pm
a 20th anniversary event aroroud independent media. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
4:49 pm
amy: anne feeney singing "have you been to jail for justice?" in 1999 fromotest the documentary "this is what democracy looks like." it was directed by jill friedberg and rick rowley, who are two of our guest today. i am amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: as we continue to look at the anniversary of the battle of seattle, we turn to houston where we are joined by tish who are renee feltz and co-organizers of the 20th anniversary indymedia encuentro this weekend in houston, texas at the rice media center.
4:50 pm
i would like to start with renee. tell us about the conference you're holding and also a little bit about your experience in the developing of the houston independent media centers after seattle. >> thank you. itit is so great to be on from houston. the petro metro. i left houston in 1999 in november as a young anarchist and headed up to seattle, washington, for the wto protest on a bus. no one knew what the wto was on my way up. on the way back, everyone knew. in seattle, i was radicalized as i watched my country turn into a lease stay. we saw the footage of the robocop's, the police, the police not just teargas and media centers, but many of us exercising our right to free speech in the streets. when we did not back down, it was so inspirational for me.
4:51 pm
i learned so much about tactical organizing. i also learned a lot about how the concept of don't hate the media, be the media. i came back to houston and as they say, stepped off the curb and back into the street. i worked with people like tish stringer and many others here to found our own houston independent media center -- indymedia center. one of my favorite things was we didn't do sort of daily news but we were also ready to gear up for convergences similar to mass protest like the wto here in houston at the time in 2004 and 2005 after indymedia had been around for a while. we were covering their protest against the halliburton shareholder meeting. dick cheney was vice president at time, the former ceo of the company was that many times the police outnumber the protesters here and were not on their best behavior. we would do projects that would help cover those demonstrations. just like in seattle, we knew we
4:52 pm
could not rely on the corporate tell the story. i learned about how to be a journalist. i learned all of my digital training will much about how i practice journalism today. i practiticed it with a rprpose. i practiced tactical media a and have made great friends and relationships, lifelong relalationships along the way wh people like tish. juan: yemen have an actual exhibition of various artifacts of the indymedia movement of the last 20 years? could you talk about that? >> thank you for having us. it is great to be here. we have an exhibition that is open now through december 9 at the rice media center in houston. we made a call out to indymedia activists around the world to send us things they had stored away in their own archives. it is a great show. interestingly, so much of what
4:53 pm
we did on indymedia was digital. what we fouound and what preserd in archives, a lot of it is paper, newspapers, flyers, handbills, stickers, t-shirts, protest dresses and banners that people made. we have a lot of video and audio , a lot of multimedia in the exhibition. >> some wto artifacts. >> there is a lot of organizing packetets that were given to activists in different towns. documents on founding indymedia's or how to open your own imc. we had contributions from a lot of different people and it is inspiring to be around and be in . it is been great to watch people walk through it and learn about independent media centers if they did not already come and to be inspired. my students are going through it and it is great to see them youing inspired. amy: tish, talk about indymedia.org and
4:54 pm
indymedia centers being a collective of collectives. the significance of the open source publishing platform that was used that is a model today. >> yes. without an army of hackers and coders who were committed to open source software, independent indymedia centers, the code that created them would not have been created. the massive support to keep these running on a shoestring budget and also to battle armies of trouble, which is of anything to say, but we really did have trouble in those days. independent media center would not have happened without a dedication open source software and without an army of volunteer hackers that sort of blurred the lines between open source movement and the independent media center movement. >> this was pre-wordpress. we did not have word press or other websites you can just start up. we also did not have social
4:55 pm
media, the idea that anyone could decide what was news and publish a picture or story. thatnk you could argue open publishing platform came along with the fact we had open source software. would you say? >> definitely. one within the other, open publishing, open collectives, open media, open-source source software for sure. i do want to follow up on something rick said about how he was a collectives to come, people to come, and open participation where we were all welcome to participate, to make needed, share media, to get training. i got my training and indymedia. so many people i know did. it change the course of our lives. there is a generation of journalists working today have -- because they were trained in independent media centers. amy: this is the birthplace of microsoft and amazon. it was the largest export city i
4:56 pm
think -- one of the largest export cities in the world come also boeing. it is the birthplace of indymedia. indymedia.org. rick, have gone on to be an oscar nominated filmmaker. you work with jeremy's cahill on "dirty wars." you have done so many groundbreaking films. this was not your absolute start, but this model, the influence it had on you. i want to ask jill about the meeting you're having this weekend, right there in seattle, the remembrance that will be taking place -- not just remembrance, but where to go from here. >> two things. imaginede first time i these changes in these movements i'd seen around the world were possible in america. i remember on the night of november 30, on that tuesday when the national guard came out and teargas was everywhere and we were ordered to disperse, and people stayed in the streets and
4:57 pm
refused to be afraid. and seeing fear break there and people reimagine themselves in their role in the world, not just as observers on the sidelines, but participants with the power to rewrite their history. -- itas a fundamentally was an earthshaking revelation for me and i think everyone in the street. but coming out of seattle, one of the things that jill and i were thinking about, central to us when we were making our film, this was a moment of where this kind of transformation of global hadomy had scarred america, scarred the hemisphere. there was this release of populist energies that we were not the only ones who were trtrying to organizers. right after seattle, the next protests were going to be against the world bank and imf in washington, d.c. pat buchanan came out and tried to be the champion, try to co-opt the movement and saying it is really a nativist worker movement against these elite
4:58 pm
bankers global lasers using the codes of white supremacist nativism. when jill and i were making "this is what democracy looks like," we decided we needed to win the battle over the narrative of what defined this a film and tell a story that made it impossible to read this global movement back inside e a narrow -- no one amy: jill friedberg, the last 20 seconds. >> one of the way things that came out of the independent media center was 400 hours of video and archive that we have just reopened since rick and i finished the film and are digitizing for preservation. this weekend david solomon is coming up. we will be projecting footage from that archive onto the washington state convevention cecenter stuff there will be all day events reflecting on what happened and what we can do with those lessons today, parties -- who knows what will happen with the projections? he could turn into a street party, but there will be a bunch
4:59 pm
of opportunities this week and here in seattle but also around the world at other events to really take the lessons from what happened. amy: we want to thank you all for being with us. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your mo
5:00 pm

3 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on